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A ROMAN historian in a well-known passage rebuked an ancient people for ignorance of their own land and their own race. Strong as is the attachment of the Irish people to their country, they cannot be wholly acquitted of the same charge. It is only within the last half century that a real attempt has been made to subject early Irish literature to severe and systematic investigation; and German scholars at one period seemed likely to anticipate Irishmen in the study of the Celtic tongue. The rise of men like O'Donovan, O'Curry, Petrie, and others, fortunately averted this national discredit, and an impetus has now been given to Celtic research which, so to speak, secures the future of that department of Irish literature.
But it is not the ancient literature or the elder generations of Irish littérateurs that alone have been neglected by the Irish people. There are few Irishmen, I venture to think, who have any conception of the number of well-known literary names which belong to Ireland. Accustomed to read and hear of many writers as belonging to English literature, we are liable to forget their connection with Ireland; and thus many eminent authors pass for being English who were born on Irish soil.
Apart, however, from this consideration, the want has long been felt for a work in which the prose, the poetry, and the oratory of great Irishmen might be found in a collected and accessible form. Such a book is primarily necessary for the purpose of enabling the literary history of Ireland to be traced in a systematic manner; and not the literary history only, but also the historical and social development of the people. In Ireland, as in other countries; literature is the mirror wherein the movements of each epoch are reflected, and the study of literature is the study of the country and the people. Most Irishmen, moreover, have felt the desire for a work in which they could readily find access to the gems of literary effort which rest in their memory, and would be gladly seen again.
I have made ample confession of the neglect of Irish literature among Irishmen themselves, and with the greater freedom I can make complaint of the astonishing ignorance of Irish literature among Englishmen. It is no exaggeration to say that many London writers of comparatively small importance are better known than some Irish writers of genius.
So much for the ideas which led to this Work; I now pass on to the plan on which it has been prepared. As will be seen, a biographical sketch is first given of each author, and this is followed by selections from his works. The memoirs are not, as a rule, of great length, for the book is meant to be a cabinet of literature and not a biographical dictionary. In the selection of extracts the choice has been guided by a desire to present those specimens of an author which best
illustrate his style. Other considerations had also to be taken into account. It would be obviously absurd to give a passage which was not intelligible without full knowledge of all by which it was preceded or followed. As a consequence it was necessary to seek for an extract which stood out in something like relief, and which required no acquaintance with the context, or only such acquaintance as could be conveyed in a short preliminary note. This consideration has necessitated occasionally the selection of passages which were not, perhaps, the most brilliant in the author's works. Finally, it has been the constant aim to avoid the quotation of anything that had become hackneyed or that could wound the feelings or offend the taste of any class or creed.
As will be seen from the final memoir in the last volume I have had no large share in the preparation of the Work. Well nigh the whole of the first three volumes were prepared by the late Mr. Read, whose life-history Mr. Charles Gibbon has so touchingly told, and were carried through the press by Mrs. Read, who supplemented by various contributions what was necessary to their completion. I am responsible for the fourth volume only.
Finally, Mrs. Read unites with me in thanking the many authors and publishers who have so readily and courteously accorded permission to use extracts from the various works quoted.
Portrait-CHARLES JAMES LEVER—From a photograph by Chanoellor, Dublin,.... ..... frontispiece.
Mrs. S. C. Hall-From a photograph by Frankland, London,
The Right Hon. JAMES WHITESIDE–From a photograph by Mayall, London,...
Sir CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY-From a photograph by Lesage, Dublin,.
Isaac Butt, M.P.-From a photograph by O'Shea, Limerick,...
The Right Hon. EARL CAIRNS— From a photograph by Russell, Chichester,...
The Right Hon. EARL DUFFERIN, K.C.B.—From a photo. by Notman, Montreal,
JUSTIN MCCARTHY, M.P.-From a photograph by the London Stereoscopic Co.,.
CHARLES JAMES LEVER (1806–1872),....
1 AUBREY T. DE VERE (b. 1814),.
An Irish Legislator of the Olden Time (from Florence MacCarthy's Farewell to his Eng-
A Father and Son (from “Luttrell of Arran”), 9 The March to Kinsale,
Song - The Irish Dragoon,
12 The Intercession,
Mickey Free's Ancestry,
13 Dirge of Rory O'More, .
The "Man for Galway,'
O Woods !
The Widow Malone,
The Long Dying,
Bad Luck to this Marching,
The “Old Land,"
ARCHBISHOP M‘HALE (b. 1791),
The Little Black Rose,
An Irish Parliament and an Irish Famine
JOSEPH SHERIDAN LE FANU (1814–1873), 44
A Narrow Escape from Murder,
SIR JOSEPH NAPIER (b. 1804),..
Character of Burke,
18 MARMION W. SAVAGE (1823–1872),..
An Adventurous Couple (from “The Falcon
JAMES GODKIN (b. 1806),...
19 Family"), .
Ulster in Eighteenth Century (from "The
Land-war in Ireland”),
Thomas FRANCIS MEAGHER (1823–1867), ......... 54
Speech from the Dock,
ARCHBISHOP TRENCH (b. 1807),.
22 Nash and the Dragoons (from “Recollections
of Ireland and the Irish”),
The Poetry of Words (from "The Study of
22 SIR SAMUEL FERGUSON (b. 1810),
The Evening Hymn,
The Forging of the Anchor,
The Fairy Thorn,
JOHN PATRICK PRENDERGAST (b. 1807),.......... 24
The Clearing of Galway (from “The Crom. Pastheen Fion,
JAMES WHITESIDE (1806-1876),...
Hon. MRS. CAROLINE NORTON (1807–1877),...... 26 Speech on the Yelverton Case,
The Gipsy Girl in Prison (from "The Child Speech in Defence of Charles Gavan Duffy,. 68
of the Islands"), .
THOMAS D'ARCY M'GEE (1825–1868),........... 71
The Child of Earth,
The Blind Man to his Bride, .
The Arab's Farewell to his Steed,
Am I Remembered?
John EDWARD WALSH (1816–1860),
My Irish Wife,
Death of the Homeward Bound,
A Tragic Case of Abduction (from “ Ireland
Home Thoughts, .
Ninety Years Ago"),
The Death of O'Carolan,
Mrs. S. C. HALL,
34 WILLIAM M'CULLAGH TORRENS (b. 1813),....... 75
An Irish Tragedy (from "Lights and Shadows Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb (from Bio-
of Irish Life"),
36 graphy of Lord Melbourne), .
LIDY Wilde ("Speranza”),........
79 Lovely Mary Donnelly,
80 Abbey Asaroe,
The Year of Revolutions,
81 Across the Sea,
The Famine Year,
MAYNE REID (b. 1819),
83 The Wild West (from "The Scalp-hunters”), 141
Capture of an Indian Chief (do.), .
MEADOWS TAYLOR (1808–1876),.
How the Mutiny was Prepared (from “Seeta"), 84 Eva Mary Kelly,..
The People's Chief,
Thomas CAULFIELD IRWIN (b. 1823),...
90 Murmurs of Love,
Hymn to Eurydice, .
91 | ELLEN DOWNING,
92 Past and Present,
92 Talk by the Blackwater,
93 CHARLES Joseph KICKHAM (b. 1830),...... 148
93 The Schoolmaster's Story (from “Sally Ca-
Richard Francis BURTON (b. 1821),............. 93 Patrick Sheehan,
Female Influence and Poetry among the The Irish Peasant Girl,
Arabs (from "Pilgrimages to Mecca," &c.), 94
DENIS FLORENCE Mac CARTHY (b. 1817),........ 154
JAMES RODERICK O'FLANAGAN (b. 1814).......... 97 The Pillar Towers of Ireland,
Harry Deane Grady (from “The Irish Bar"), 97 The Clan of Mac Caura,
The Seasons of the Heart,
William CONNOR MAGEE, D.D. (b. 1821),........ 99
Centenary Ode on Thomas Moore, .
Christianity and Scepticism, .
WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL (b. 1821)............ 104 MARTIN HAVERTY (b. 1809),
After the Fall of Sebastopol (from “Letters
The Elopement of Hugh O'Neill (from
from the Crimea"), .
“History of Ireland ''),
Sir CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY (b. 1810)............ 108 CHARLES GRAHAM HALPINE (1829–1868), 159
A Lay Sermon,
109 A Vesper Hymn,
The Irish Chiefs, .
. 110 Not a Star from the Flag,
The Patriot's Bride,
Julia KAVANAGH (1824 -1877),.....
113 John FRANCIS O'DONNELL (1837–1874),
The Sisters (from “Nathalie"),
113 Where? .
Tombs in the Church of Montorio, .
RICHARD DALTON WILLIAMS (1822–1862),... 117
Adieu to Innisfail,
118 Isaac BUTT (1813–1879), ......
Speech on Land Tenure,
Lecture on Bishop Berkeley's Theory, . 167
FRANCES POWER COBBE (b. 1822),
Chivalry of the Period (from “Re-echoes "), 121 William ALEXANDER, D.D. (b. 1824),.. 170
John Francis Waller (b. 1810),
Death of an Arctic Hero, .
Below and Above,
The Spinning-wheel Song,
A Plea for Irish Song,
MRS. ALEXANDER, ...
The Song of the Glass, .
The Burial of Moses,
Welcome as Flowers in May,
Francis Davis (b. 1810)....
JOHN TYNDALL (b. 1820),.
Caste and Creed,
Scientific Limit of the Imagination,
My Kallagh Dhu Asthore,
Only a Fancy,
John CRAWFORD Wilson (b. 1825),...........
The Death of Lily,
· 130 Dion BoucicauLT (b. 1822),.
How Cæsar was Driven from Ireland, . 131 The Man of Fashion in the Country (from
ANNIE KEARY (1825–1879), ........
132 Origin of “ The Shaughraun,"
A Scene in the Famine (from“Castle Daly"), 133
FRANCES BROWNE (b. 1816),..
137 The Returning Janissary, .
Ballytullagh (from “ Laurence Bloomfield ”), 138 The Last Friends,
Going to the Fair (do.),
138 What hath Time taken?
SIR GARNET JOSEPH WOLSELEY (b. 1833),...... 184 ROBERT DWYER JOYCE (b. 1830),
Sack of the Summer Palace (from“ Narrative Naisi receives his Sword (from “Deirdrè "),. 237
of the War with China"),
185 The Exploits of Curoi (from “ Blanid"), 238
The City of Nankin (do.), .
The Blacksmith of Limerick,
With the Rebels at Nankin (do.),
WILLIAM JOHN FITZPATRICK (b. 1830), ........... 240
John KEEGAN CASEY (1816-1870),....
Anecdotes of Keogh, the Irish Mass lon (from
Song of Golden-headed Niamh,
“Irish Wits and Worthies "),
My Cailin Ruadh,
Finglas Churchyard (do.),
EARL OF DUFFERIN (b. 1826),..
WILLIAM E. H. LECKY (b. 1838),
Dublin in the Eighteenth Century (from
An Icelandic Dinner (from "Letters from
“ History of England "),
High Latitudes "),
On Irishmen as Rulers,
Influence of the Elder Pitt (do.),
A Plea for Toleration,
Character of Marcus Aurelius (from “His-
tory of European Morals "),
JOHN CASHEL HOEY (b. 1828),
BARTHOLOMEW SimyonS (d. 1850),.
198 Origin of O'Connell,
Napoleon's Last Look, .
The Coast of Clare, .
The Flight to Cyprus,
MRS. CASHEL HOEY (b. 1830),..
EARL CAIRNS (6. 1819),.
201 A Terrible Interview (from “No Sign"),. 253
Speech-On the Oude Proclamation,
The Empress of India,
204 William GORMAN WILLS (b. 1828),....
The Queen and Cromwell (from “ Charles the
J. L. PORTER (b. 1823),
Lydda (from “The Giant Cities of Bashan"), 207
The Druses (do.),
208 | WILLIAM ARTHUR (b. 1819),.
Eastern Politeness (from “Handbook for
Commercial Biography (from “The Suc-
Syria and Palestine"),
Position and Mind (do.),
ALFRED PERCEVAL GRAVES (b. 1846), ........ 211
Irish Spinning-wheel Song,
SiR WILLIAM THOMSON (b. 1824),.
The Origin of Life,
212 JOHN TODHUNTER (b. 1839),
The Banks of the Daisies,
The Daughter of Hippocrates,
I Once Loved a Boy,
Song-Hither, O Love!
Irish Lamentation to the Ulster Goll, 213
Chorale-Where shall Freedom's banner, 269
THOMAS N. BURKE (b. 1830),...
A Nation's History, .
The Curse of Ignorance,
The Pursuit of a Rebel (from “Hester's
William FRANCIS BUTLER (b. 1838),.
218 History"), .
A View of the Prairie (from The Wild
North Land "),
J. A. MacGAHAN (1845–1878),..
My Shipmates (from “The Great Lone
The Russian Officer (from “ Campaigning on
the Oxus "),
First Sight of the Rocky Mountains (do.), 220
Miss CASEY (E. OWENS BLACKBURNE) (b. 1848), 277
An African Queen (from “ Akim-foo"),
A Forest Scene in Africa (do.), .
Biddy Brady's Banshee (from "A Bunch of
TIMOTHY DANIEL SULLIVAN (b. 1827),
O'Neill in Rome,
John BOYLE O'REILLY,
The Little Wife, .
Chunder Ali's Wife,
Song from the Backwoods,
My Native Land,
To my Brother,
My Mother's Memory, .
Donal of Beara (from “Dunboy "),
226 Unspoken Words,
The Farmer's Son,
227 John PEYTLAND MAHAFFY (b. 1839),
You and I,
Thoughts on Nearing Greece (from “Rambles
and Studies in Greece"), .
ALEXANDER MARTIN SULLIVAN (b. 1930),........ 228
"Forty Eight” (from "New Ireland "), . 228 The Acropolis of Athens and the Rock of
PATRICK WESTON JOYCE (b. 1827),...
Fairies and the Names of Places,
233 Richard Dowling (b. 1846), .....
Connla of the Golden Hair (from “Old Celtic
The Deaf-Mute casts off his Son (from "The
Romances "), .
235 Mystery of Killard "),